Thursday, March 13, 2014

MHL Extensions, and MHL adapters

I recently had a few customers who were really frustrated.  They bought what they thought was an MHL extension for their S4 or Note 3, only to find out that it didn't work when they tried to connect it to either their SmartDock, or to their MHL adapter.  They had bought the Model: 4XMHLADAPTER called the "MHL Adapter Cable for Samsung". 

So, I decided to purchase one of these cables to try it out myself.  After all, it sure looked like the cable that we built.  What I found is that it looks similar, but it's not fully MHL 2.0.  The male connector is MHL 2.0, but the female is MHL 1.0 (aka, USB Micro-B).  No wonder it didn't work with the MHL 2.0 items.  In fact, I don't really know what you'd use this cable for - there's really no reason that I can think of to use this adapter.

Here are the female connectors from both.  Ours is on the right, which is why it's compatible with the newer Samsung phones and MHL items, like the dock and the MHL cable.


If you look closely at the picture above, you can see that the one on the left is flat at the bottom, that's the MHL 1.0 version.  The one on the right has a notch in it, that's the 11pin MHL 2.0 connector that works with the newer Samsung phones, such as the S3, S4, and Note 3 (and probably beyond as they continue to make new phones).  FYI, it's not just for Samsung devices, it's also relevant for those of you who use the Pioneer AppRadio - so take note!

Here's a link to our MHL 2.0 Extensions: http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/rr-mhl-ext-xxg.html

If you're wanting an MHL 1.0 Extension (think Galaxy S and S2): http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/rr-mcb-ext-xxg.html

5 comments:

Shahzad Ahmed said...

Hello - what if all I wanted to do was use the USB Ports on the Smart Dock for OTG purposes with the phone itself some distance away from the Smart Dock? The scenario I'm thinking about is for in-car use: Smart dock in glove box with a USB DAC and powered from a cigarette lighter, phone mounted on dashboard and connected to Smart Dock via an extension cable. I really wouldn't care about the video aspects - just to have the phone charging and USB ports working.

Is there any micro-USB extension cable that would make this scenario work?

How are you getting on with the MHL/Dock extension cables.....?

Many thanks

Rick Wessley said...

Hi Shahzad,
that's a great question. For a short answer, this cable may work for you. Link: http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/rr-afy-mxf-xxgo.html

Details: USB OTG mode is separate from MHL mode, and is also separate from Dock mode. USB OTG allows charging on some phones/tablets, but it's disabled on others, you would have to see what is specific to yours. For USB OTG mode, you don't need the MHL connector, since most Samsung MHL 2.0 phones/tablets have a dual MHL (11pin) / Micro-B (5pin) connector. My old Samsung S2 worked OK with both, sometimes I had to plug in the OTG with charging, and then unplug and replug and it would work, as though it were a timing issue, similar to Dock mode (which is shorted for a short period, and then goes to resistance mode, we believe. At this point, it's a case by case basis for us since we're still gathering understanding of it.

timothy brad lane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pinemonkey said...

Hi Rick,
I am looking for approx 6ft extension for my Samsung S4 for OTG purposes.

I have a thermal camera that is a dongle style unit that I need to mount on a spelunking helmet separate from the phone (in a backpack) and utilize the camera similar to a go-pro. I saw your USB B MHL 2.0 12" extension (not really long enough) but I wonder if I need full MHL 2.0 for OTG use (which is the requirement of the camera). Any ideas?

Thanks!
Geoff

Rick Wessley said...

I know this is an old post, but we actually recently started stocking longer cables - from 3ft up to 12ft. Check out our website: usbfirewire.com and search for MHL - you'll find them there.